World Health Organisation (Anon), Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors and withdrawal reactions, WHO Drug Information, 1998, 12, 3, 136-138

This is a short review, excellent for its use of good, plain, jargon-free English and for its recognition of the nature of the SSRI dependence problem, as real people experience it:

"There is obviously some confusion about the concept of dependence ... The simplest definition of drug dependence given by WHO is 'a need for repeated doses of the drug to feel good or to avoid feeling bad' (WHO, Lexicon of alcohol and drug terms, 1994). When the patient needs to take repeated doses of the drug to avoid bad feelings caused by withdrawal reactions, the person is dependent on the drug. Those who have difficulty coming off the drug even with the help of tapered discontinuation should be regarded as dependent, unless a relapse into depression is the reason for their inability to stop the antidepressant medication.

In general, all unpleasant withdrawal reactions have a certain potential to induce dependence and this risk may vary from person to person. Dependence will not occur if the withdrawal symptoms are so mild that all patients can easily tolerate them. With increasing severity, the likelihood of withdrawal reactions leading to dependence also increases. Although reporting rates of SSRI withdrawal are low in comparison with prescribed doses, it is prudent to recommend the monitoring of patient withdrawal symptoms even when SSRIs are prescribed at modest doses."

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